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Inspirational Stories

Kay and David LaFrance

Lymphoma Survivors

Rapid City, SD

As an 18-year breast cancer survivor, Kay was just starting to enjoy retirement in 2018 when she was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma. Even though she had fought cancer before, she was stricken with despair and disbelief and felt terrified of the road ahead of her. She had to travel to a different city to receive her specialized treatment, which was outside of her insurance network, so much of the costs came out of her own pocket. After a long, hard fight, she is now in remission, but lives with the everyday fear of her cancer coming back.

In a devastating twist of fate, Kay’s husband, David, was diagnosed with a different type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in February 2020 and had to undergo much of his treatment at the hospital on his own. Since Kay is immunocompromised, she was unable to accompany him as he fought for his life amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, David is still undergoing treatment. “My wife and I have both fought aggressive blood cancers and this has helped us to understand that other worries of life have become so much smaller,” says David. “We have to make time for each other.”

The LaFrances both received financial support from LLS’s Co-Pay Assistance Program and most recently, they were recipients of the LLS COVID-19 Patient Financial Aid Program. “We are forever grateful that LLS was there for us during a time when we needed support most,” says Kay. “From keeping us informed through their free, informative webinars to helping us pay for essentials like groceries, LLS was a huge source of support for us.”